India-Australia free trade agreement 'may be finalised in two months'

Legislation | | MIC Customs Solutions |

A free trade agreement between Australia and India is set to be signed within the next two months, according to officials.

India and Australia are coming close to a resolution to discussions over a new free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley confirmed during a four-day visit to Australia that talks surrounding the FTA have now progressed to the point of negotiations and are now being handled by the commerce ministry.

This follows conversations with Andrew Robb, Australia's former trade minister and current special envoy for trade, who will be visiting New Delhi in the coming days to build on the recent momentum,

As such, it is now expected that the deal could be finalised within the next two months, assuming there is a strong political appetite from both sides.

Mr Robb said: "I think we have reached a point in negotiations where it's a mutually beneficial arrangement, but I need to test that with my counterparts next week."

Conversations over a potential FTA between India and Australia have been ongoing since 2011.